Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rape Culture and Christmas Songs

Note: This post was originally posted in November 2008.

If you participate in Christmas, you should be glad to know that our rape culture even extends to Christmas songs:

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
well Maybe just a half a drink more - Put some music on while I pour

The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir - Mind if I move a little closer
At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense in hurting my pride
I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside

C'mon baby

I simply must go - Baby, it's cold outside
The answer is no - Ooh baby, it's cold outside
This welcome has been - I'm lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm -- Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious - Man, your lips look so delicious
My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh your lips look delicious
Well maybe just a half a drink more - Never such a blizzard before

I've got to go home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me your comb - It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand - Your eyes are like starlight now
But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me
There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Making my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay - Get over that old out
Ahh, but it's cold outside

Baby it's cold outside

Brr its cold….
It's cold out there
Cant you stay awhile longer baby
Well…..I really shouldn't...alright

Make it worth your while baby
Ahh, do that again….
Ah, nothing gets me in the Christmas mood like coercion, intentionally getting someone drunk for the purpose of sex, the idea that not wanting to have sex hurts a man's pride, female purity that needs to be protect by family members, slut-shaming by the community and date rape all immortalized in holiday song and cheer.


Tasha said...

I'm not Christian at all.
But I really like Christmas and Christmas songs, but some of them are just wholly (holy) disturbing.

TheFeministBreeder said...

Ohmygod, I posted this EXACT same thing on my Facebook fan page a few weeks ago, and pretty much nobody responded - as if to indicate that I was the only nutbag that looks that hard at things.

AzĂșcar said...

Some friends performed this at a Christmas party a few years ago and described it as the date rape anthem.

Mia said...

re. Tasha: I am Christian and I also love Christmas songs, but you are right - some of the lyrics in them are disturbing - and we never think about what the lyrics mean when we sing them. We were singing some at my church the other day, and then we got to discussing what "Noel" meant (in 'The First Noel'), and what "Round yon Virgin" meant. Some us had been singing Christmas songs in church for 40-odd years, and still had no idea what we were singing ;)

Amelia said...

When I was moderating comments I accidentally rejected the following comment posted by Emily,. I will copy/paste the comment verbatim from my e-mail. My apologies:

I was thinking just this on Friday as I was driving home listening to the Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews version of this song. It's truly scary how rape culture can so easily sidle innocuously into our parts of our lives as innocent as a Christmas song!

What's even more indefensible is that the 1999 version I was listening to hasn't been changed at all... In other words, rape culture in a Christmas song is as acceptable in 1999 as it was in 1949 when this song was first written!

Melissa said...

I feel so freaking lucky I went to the high school I did. It was a long time ago, but even then...when we were given this song in choir, everybody (we're talking about 16 and 17 year old kids here) immediately called out the fact that it's about rape, and we all protested having to sing it. It didn't hit me until recently how rare that must be among kids that age.

CarrieP said...

I was in the supermarket the other day when this song came on and I had the exact same realization. What irks me even more is for the song to not be about blatant coercion, the woman singing has to play it as if no means yes. F that.